Class teaches self-defense and Tai-Chi

By Allison Poon

Every three seconds there is an assault and battery crime; every
six seconds there is a rape committed in the United States.

Self-defense classes, from beginner to intermediate levels, are
now available on campus to educate students about manners of

The class concentrates on 13 basic movements used to protect
women during rapes and assaults. With the method of constant
repetition, the class improves instincts and creates a quicker

Female students are taught to practice the most commonly used
attacks that are effective in real-life defense situations. The
10-week course is designed to help build self-preservation and

Whether it’s the first time taking a self-defense class or not,
everyone who attends class should gain more knowledge on ways to
avoid certain dangerous situations.

“I think everyone should take this class because you’re learning
to protect yourself,” said Diana Chuang, a fourth-year graphic
design student. “I feel more confident about myself walking around
at night. If someone were to attack me, I’d know what to do.”

Beginners learn the basic movements in a standing position,
using hand and eye coordination, blocking, kicking and striking
from different stances.

Intermediate students take everything they learned in the
previous class and use it while on the floor.

“I think it’s a positive thing,” said Kim Chadwick, a third-year
liberal studies student. “It’s better to have some sort of
knowledge and awareness.”

Women in the class are specifically taught how to get away from
an attacker if he or she were to pull their hair, grab their hand,
surprise them from behind, or kick them down to the floor.

“Just think about the security and confidence they’ll have, if
every woman went to this class,” said Albert Garza, the
self-defense and Tai Chi instructor. “It gives a kind of security
for our campus … it’s more of a safety environment.”

Both beginning and intermediate level classes are offered every
quarter by the kinesiology department as a general activity for men
and women.

The class is split into two groups, separating the men and
women. Xavier Duggan, the assistant instructor, teaches the men.
Garza instructs the women.

All of the techniques used and learned in class will not only be
useful when enrolled, but will form into a gut reaction in
real-life situations.

“You’re not only protecting yourself, but you’re protecting your
family and friends. It’s something that is really a necessity,”
said Garza.

Not only does Garza teach self-defense, but he also teaches Tai
Chi twice a week.

Tai Chi is somewhat the opposite of self-defense. It requires
one to be more relaxed than physical.

Students in this class learn 40 different forms and positions
throughout the quarter. Each move is supposed to be done slowly and
with grace.

“It teaches you discipline, control, and patience at the same
time, so it really is the idea of the mind, body, and soul,” said
Janneal Lopez, a microbiology graduate student.

The classes take place Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11
a.m. Tai Chi classes are held right after, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Both are located in the basketball gym, building 128. Dates and
times may vary in future quarters.

Reach Allison Poon at

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